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Is your family prepared to weather the first three days of a disaster?

Posted April 13, 2018

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American Red Cross backpack and emergency supplies
The American Red Cross recommends each household have a backpack with emergency supplies for emergencies.

It’s spring in North Central Texas, and that means residents should be ready for strong thunderstorms, tornados, flash floods, wind damage and hail.

If Mother Nature turns extremely violent and causes massive damage, you might be isolated while first responders work their way to your area. Are you prepared to spend three or more days on your own with no water, power, transportation, medical help, or communication with the outside world?

Being prepared for any type of local hazard is beneficial and might determine how well you and your family fare if a natural or manmade disaster were to strike in Fort Worth. You can improve your odds by building a 72-hour emergency kit and creating communication and evacuation plans now.

Build your family’s kit

A 72-hour emergency kit should include:

  • Food.
  • Water.
  • First aid kit.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • NOAA All Hazards Weather radio.
  • Cell phone charger, cable and/or fully charged power bank.
  • Dust masks.
  • Personal hygiene and cleaning supplies.
  • Medications (minimum of seven days).
  • Whistle.
  • Tools (plyers, screwdriver, wrench).
  • Important documents (deed, marriage license, birth certificates, Social Security number, driver license, etc.).
  • Cash (small denominations).
  • Can opener.

If you have a family member with a special need, a baby or pet in your family, pack items to meet the needs of that individual or animal, such as medical equipment, bottles and formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, pet food, treats and toys.

Create a communications plan

Know how you will contact family members if you are separated when a disaster strikes:

  • Program family cell phone numbers into your phone. Write them on paper for the emergency kit.
  • Twitter or other social media platforms may prove beneficial if communications are functional.
  • Have an out-of-the-area family member act as a point of contact for family members. It may be easier to contact someone out of town if local communications are compromised.
  • All family members should know where to physically meet in an emergency situation — at a local store, family friend’s home, government building, so on.

Make an evacuation plan for your family

  • Choose several destinations where you can go if you are instructed to evacuate your residence. You may need to simply move across town or perhaps to a location several hundred miles away.
  • Try to have a least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Build an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes water, first aid, snacks, important contact numbers, cell phone charger and seasonal items such as sunscreen and insect spray for summer, gloves and blankets for winter.

Get more information on emergency preparedness.

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North Hi Mount Streetlights Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 20, 2018; University of North Texas Science Center Carl E. Everett Education & Administration Building, Room 291, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 9:30 a.m. June 21, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. June 21, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled City of Fort Worth “Monthly Informational Forum for M/WBEs”: 11:30 a.m. June 21, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.

Community Action Partners Council: 1:30 p.m. June 21, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union, First Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Trinity River Public Facility Corporation Special Meeting: 5 p.m. June 21, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 120 East 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. June 21, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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North Beach Street Streetlights Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 21, 2018; Lakeland Street Baptist Church, 3551 cindy Drive.

Ridglea Area Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. June 21, 2018; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 1 p.m. June 22, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors - Notice of Possible Quorum: 15th Annual City of Fort Worth Housing Summit: 8:30 a.m. June 23, 2018; Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway.
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Swimming Lessons - Registration begins for Session 2: 9 a.m. June 23, 2018; Forest Park Pool, 2850 Park Place Ave.
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Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. June 23, 2018; Riverside Community Center , 3700 E. Belknap St.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: noon June 23, 2018; Hazel Harvey Peace Center , 818 Missouri Ave.

Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. June 25, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. June 25, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Chamber, 200 Texas Street.
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Trinity Metro Finance & Audit Committee Working Session: 2:45 p.m. June 25, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center , 1001 Jones Street, 2nd Floor Community Room.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. June 25, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 1001 Jones Street, 2nd Floor Community Room.
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Near Southside Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 25, 2018; Broadway Baptist Church, 305 West Broadway Ave.

Harmon Road Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 25, 2018; O.A. Peterson Elementary School, 2000 Winter Hawk Drive.

View the full city calendar.